The toll on wildlife from this summer’s extreme heat and drought continues to mount in the state’s far west as kangaroos and other animals struggle to find water days after as many as a million fish died in the region.
The bickering also came as the Berejiklian government revealed two more cases of fish kill at Lake Keepit on the Namoi and Lake Cathie on the northern NSW coast.
Both are much smaller than the Menindee incident, involving from hundreds up to a 1000 fish, a spokeswoman for Fisheries Minister Niall Blair said. High temperatures, low levels of dissolved oxygen and poor water qualities – all present at Menindee – are behind the latest fish deaths.
The reservoirs were officially 3.1 per cent on Thursday, according to WaterNSW, but most of the lakes themselves were a sea of baked earth.
Remaining pools will shrink further with at least six days in a row forecast to reach 41 degrees or more, including 44-45 degrees from Monday to Wednesday.
Back in Sydney, NSW Labor upped the political ante on Thursday, a day after Minister Blair made a visit to Menindee, interrupted in part by local protesters demanding more water to help flush out the blue-green algal blooms that triggered the die-off.
Labor leader Michael Daley called for a special commission of inquiry into the "ecological catastrophe" at Menindee.
The die-off, the fourth in the Murray-Darling Basin in recent months, has drawn widespread attention to the plight of the country's river system. One video posted to Facebook by local grazier Rob McBride and a friend holding dead Murray cod has attracted millions of views.
"Mature fish that survived decades of droughts could not survive the Liberal-Nationals’ water policy," Mr Daley said.
"The [Coalition parties] have been repeatedly warned by far west residents, community groups, scientists and Labor that their water policies would cause devastation on the Darling River."
Perfect [url=https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/what-happens-when-the-last-resort-on-the-darling-river-dries-out-20190110-p50qo3.html?loginAction=[object%20Object]]review comments[/url]:
1 day ago
Much of the country is unaware of this disaster. Why? The Murdoch media’s ongoing climate change denial campaign. It must be wound down. Corporate responsibility?
1 day ago
Perhaps this section of Philip Coorey's item from the "Financial Review", 27 July 2017, may jolt a few memories.....
A recording of federal Water Minister Barnaby Joyce skiting about the alleged theft of water by irrigators from the Murray-Darling Basin has increased calls for him to be stripped of the water portfolio.
After publicly likening the alleged theft to cattle or sheep rustling on Wednesday morning and saying the law should be enforced, Mr Joyce was recorded rubbishing the ABC Four Corners report on Thursday night while talking to irrigators in a Shepparton pub.
In doing so, he effectively confirmed he had made Malcolm Turnbull take water away from the environment portfolio and give it to him so he could protect upstream interests.
"We have taken water, put it back into agriculture, so we could look after you and make sure we don't have the greenies running the show basically sending you out the back door, and that was a hard ask," he said in the recording.
"A couple of nights ago on Four Corners, you know what that's all about? It's about them trying to take more water off you, trying to create a calamity. A calamity for which the solution is to take more water off you, shut more of your towns down."
- My emphasis in bold! Joyce is corrupt!
2 days ago
Can someone explain to me why we have heard nothing from the Federal Government despite this being a major national disaster?
1 day ago
Yes the drought is a national disaster the government has put $1.7 Billion to help people affected and many rivers are drying up because of the drought.
1 day ago
They want to stay out of parliament and the headlines till the election. Good luck with that!
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